Why The Data-Driven Factory Represents The Future Of Manufacturing

Why The Data-Driven Factory Represents The Future Of Manufacturing
Retail

Technology enables the collection and analysis of data in real time for more efficient factories, as seen in PSFK's Future of Manufacturing report

PSFK Labs
  • 13 july 2017

Thanks to emerging technologies, manufacturers can gather data on their operations like they never have before. IoT devices, cloud infrastructures, AI, augmented reality and other tools allow an organization to stay two steps ahead of demand shifts, identify and remedy inefficiencies, and make real-time adjustments to the production line. PSFK’s Future of Manufacturing report, developed in partnership with Microsoft, presents a scenario in which the data-driven factory is put to the test.

The excerpt below is a snapshot of the analyses provided in the Future of Manufacturing report. Click here to download the full free report, which includes expert insights, key scenarios and enabling technologies.

The Data-Driven Factory: The Opportunity

From Internet of Things sensors to cloud infrastructures, it’s easier than ever for manufacturers to gather information about their daily operations. With this knowledge at hand, production managers can obtain ongoing analyses to identify bottlenecks in their factories or inform them of inefficient operations. Over time, this data collection can help manufacturers accelerate output by allowing them to introduce real-time adjustments to their production lines.

Scenario #3 – On The Factory Floor: Omniscient Operations

After being named an industry leader across a number of publications for its newest model, an air conditioner manufacturer expects a spike in demand for its products, but doesn’t have the resources to significantly expand manufacturing beyond its current footprint. Martha, the manager of the manufacturer’s North American operations, must review and adjust the production flow of multiple factories in order to accommodate expected demand shifts.

  1. In order to understand the true impact on production, Martha starts by consulting marketplace data to understand purchasing behaviors dating back five years–the typical lifecycle of an AC unit—and weighs this information against weather predictions for the upcoming summer season. Based on this information, she predicts the number of ACs that it will sell, which significantly outpaces their current capacity.
  2. With a target number in place, Martha and her team perform a data-audit of ongoing operations across their network of factories to identify and troubleshoot inefficiencies.
  3. Using data collected from sensor-enabled equipment, Martha notice that a key piece of machinery within the production line at each of their factories is consistently underperforming, slowing down overall operations by 22%.
  4. She schedules a virtual meeting with the OEM’s client representative, along with the main service technicians on her factory floors to discuss the issue and figure out the best solution. They determine the problem to be improper calibration, which causes the equipment to occasionally reset.
  5. While this typically requires a specially-trained technician to adjust, the OEM is able to offer remote guidance through an AR service manual that overlays key steps in the calibration process onto the equipment, enabling Martha’s team to temporarily fix the issue until one of the OEM’s technicians can perform on-site diagnostics.
  6. While the factories are already operating on a continuous schedule, Martha analyzes worker data from connected cameras and wearable devices to understand performance metrics over the course of a typical eight-hour shift. After identifying productivity drop-offs after six hours among certain skilled assembly positions, Martha determines that it’s best to flex workers around these jobs to improve overall performance.
  7. Using an AI-powered platform, she can quickly make adjustments to worker scheduling to account for the changes and ensure proper deployment across the production line. She also shares her findings with the COO, suggesting that the company invest in cross-training employees on multiple pieces of equipment.
  8. Martha makes note of these two major changes along with smaller refinements identified during the audit to the backend operational software platform to receive regular updates on their ongoing impact. She also is able to simulate production over the next six months and see that they should be on track to meet the increased demand.

Highlighting The Opportunity

The use of IoT sensors on manufacturing assets is a game changer, especially when you consider the impact of asset maintenance. Devices can now be monitored in real time and compared to their optimal operational settings. This means that we can see, with a mathematical degree of certainty, when a part is worn down and needs servicing. With Predictive Maintenance on the manufacturing floor, you’ve just enabled a much more effective manufacturing planning cycle, improved your ability to respond to customer needs and prevented costly problems before they happen. Bill Moffett. Global Industry Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft

Manufacturers anticipate that enhanced data availability will account for more than 10% revenue growth leading up to 2020. The Future of Manufacturing: 2020 and Beyond. IndustryWeek, 2016

Manufacturing costs reduced by 10-20% by advanced robotics, cobotics, better OEE and staff flexibility. Digital Factories: The Renaissance of the US Automotive Industry. Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation (IPA). Roland Berger, 2016

What Trends Are Driving This?

  • Preemptive Troubleshooting
  • Dynamic Logistics
  • Responsive Optimization
  • Onboard Collaboration
  • Predictive Analytics

The 30+ page report includes:

  • Insights into the evolving manufacturing landscape and how to prepare for increased supply chain pressure
  • 5 forward thinking scenarios illustrating the digital landscape
  • 10 trends shaping connected manufacturing
  • Four industry disruptors influencing makers
  • Actionable takeaways for business and information technology decision makers

In partnership with Microsoft, PSFK presents the Future Of Manufacturing report, an opportunity playbook that explores a new era of supply chain management and the technologies that enable faster, more agile manufacturing operations. Tune into psfk.com for a 10-week in-depth look at expert insights, key findings and detailed scenarios, or download the full report here.


Lead Image: Male worker in overalls and helmet via Shutterstock

Thanks to emerging technologies, manufacturers can gather data on their operations like they never have before. IoT devices, cloud infrastructures, AI, augmented reality and other tools allow an organization to stay two steps ahead of demand shifts, identify and remedy inefficiencies, and make real-time adjustments to the production line. PSFK’s Future of Manufacturing report, developed in partnership with Microsoft, presents a scenario in which the data-driven factory is put to the test.

+AI
+AI
+augmented reality
+data
+future of manufacturing
+internet of things
+manufacturing
+Microsoft
+retail
+technology

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